Here are some of the books and authors that have embedded themselves into my soul. These are but a few that I can’t resist to rave about or to reread when the days get too hard.
In no particular order
The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson
This entire trilogy has the best characters. Each book beautifully builds on to each other creating a complex world and enchanting characters.
There is an additional book that has recently been added Empire of Dreams which takes place several years after the events in the third book and follows a different character. This is a nice addition but for this post I’m only referencing the original trilogy.
This series has my favorite fantasy couple of all time! I love Elisa and Hector separately both are fiercely loyal to their friends and loved ones. And together they form a formidable team to help take down their enemies before they overtake the kingdom.
The author doesn’t shy away from real struggles that real people have and that’s something that is sorely missing in books in general YA or not.
Find and support this author and your local indie here
Seriously her whole catalogue is my favorite. She writes such unique and interesting stories and characters that I ‘m always enthralled.
Let’s start with her debut series, Something Strange and Deadly trilogy.
Victorian London. Check. Broody boy. Check. Zombies, yep. Mix in a bold young lady willing to do whatever it takes to find her brother and we have an adventure.
This series never let up in action and mystery and swoon worthy romance and it also didn’t lack the heartache. Not enough people talk about this series and its a shame.
Witchlands is the current series and just WOW. Okay. Do you like high fantasy? Magic? a myriad of diverse characters? Then you need to check out Truthwitch the first book in this epic series.
Truthwitch starts off with two best friends Safi and Isuelt trying to get back their money but things go awry fast leaving them with an avalanche of problems. You never know where this story will go and there are so many breadcrumbs that you won’t catch until you reread it.
Watching all the strands of thread being woven and then seeing them pulled together in Bloodwitch *chef’s kiss* beautiful! This tapestry is far from finished and I am so ecstatic. I really don’t want to part from these characters anytime soon.
You should definitely add her to your list if you haven’t already. A link to her books here
The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
My first book crush. I was so young back then. I’ve followed her since then because what an entertaining ride she provides in these books. The premise alone is the coolest, pun unintended. Humans sustain the lives of the Fey but what happens when tech takes off changing the landscape both for humans and fey. This was my second interaction with these kinds of creatures and I really liked the unique look at iron being introduced in this way.
We have the chosen one but doesn’t want to be chosen, we have the funny sidekick, and a brooding prince. The aesthetic overall felt like Alice in Wonderland meets A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.
There is another series being made that’s coming out in February 2021 and I’m intrigued and hoping it’s leagues better than the second series in this world.
Read the first series now with new covers for the tenth anniversary. These covers are superior to the original in every way just saying.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Where do I start?
“People lived because she killed.”
“People died because he lived.”
Such an incredible way to start off an epic story. This is not only beautifully written but it has the best characters. Two seemingly different characters who actually have much in common.
Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.
Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.
I mean who here doesn’t love a good enemies to lovers angst filled tension?? I love seeing dynamic complex characters and seeing them go dumb over a crush when they’re trying to be all brooding and not happy. We still have six months before the conclusion to this duology and I can’t wait to see how everything unfolds. Preorder We free the Stars
Roshani is another author whose entire catalogue is just incredible. Lush fantastical worlds that are always immersive. They make me long for a world and place that I’ve never been.
The Star-Touched Queen, Crown of Wishes are companion novels with two sisters grappling and coming to terms with their self and the lives that they want and what is being offered. I really enjoy character driven stories, even though these books are wonderfully written at times the world building can be weak. But the characters are always center stage and well develop.
The Star Touched Stories is three short stories that take place within the worlds of The Star-Touched Queen, Crown of Wishes & with characters we are already familiar with. This has to be the best short story collection I’ve read in a while. I loved being back in these worlds and seeing how some of the characters are growing and experiencing new characters and seeing the world in a new light. I will never tire of reading about the night bazaar or of a certain god or goddess.
The Gilded Wolves, Silvered Serpents the first and second book (coming out September 22, 2020) in a planned trilogy, I believe. Artifacts, snazzy clothes in Paris, a group of misfits I mean this just speaks to me. I love the characters in this series! I am a big BIG fan of an ensemble cast of characters. Scheming and stealing and tripping over themselves to not confess their feelings, A+.
If you want some more lighter but still holds a ton of weight but make it middle grade, Aru Shah and the End of Time series is for you. Middle grade is where I turn when I want to feel good and cozy. Anytime I’m in a slump I head straight for them. They’re just a nice time. And this series is no different in that regard. It has Hindu mythology mixed with feminist elements and a whole lot of sass. Also a talking bird and who doesn’t love an animal sidekick with a hidden past and saucy attitude.
I just really love the characters and world’s of richness she comes up with. Do check her out! You can do so here while also supporting your local indie store.
A Curious Beginning (a Veronica Speedwell Series) by Deanna Raybourn
This series fell into my lap and I am forever thankful for that. Mystery set in Victorian London with roguish mysterious gentleman and a fierce lady who does as she pleases. This book was a dream with all the trappings and dressings that I crave. Stoker and Veronica are my favorite duo! In this book there’s a fake marriage and running away to join the carnival. These books are a delight and whip smart with the banter between these two who thinks the other is barbaric.
The books can be read out of order but I would suggest reading them in order. It’s the best way to experience the slow burn relationship. You can get your own copy here
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez
I had heard amazing things but I wasn’t prepared for the beautifully written story with enemies to lovers. I’m going to be honest I don’t remember reading the synopsis before diving in and sometimes that’s for the best.
I’m always on the hunt for a standalone fantasy novel. Sometimes you just need one book not three to six where the first few you have to struggle to get through to get to the better books. The only issues I always come up against with standalones is the pacing. Its either too slow to begin or too quick to resolve. This wasn’t the worst offender I much preferred it to some others I’ve read this year but the ending was still too quick for it to be satisfying. There just wasn’t enough time and I thought there was little pay off. I do believe a companion book following a character in this book will be coming out next year, I think. I am interested to see how this story progresses since it seems the second book will take up after this one. In any case though since this is a standalone and it should and can be read as such makes the rush ending look weak. It didn’t diminish my enjoyment overall but it did dampen some of the earlier excitement.
I still highly recommend! Give it a try yourself
Who are your auto buy authors?
Let me know if you’ve read any of these or are planning to!